The start of the Apertura was delayed a week in Uruguay, while the season started in Ecuador. Here is this week’s soccer news from South America.
As we get into the second month of 2019 and the summer hits full force in South America, countries across the continent are starting to ramp up competition once again. It has been a gradual, staggered process as the sport resumes on different timetables depending on league size and other factors.
We’ve already seen Argentina resume Superliga play as that season plays out the backstretch of its more European-aligned calendar. Brazilian states are playing out their regional competitions ahead of the resumption of Serie A in April. And Apertura campaigns have commenced in Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Venezuela and now Ecuador.
Leagues in Chile and Peru were scheduled from the outset to begin play on Feb. 15. Joining them now is Uruguay, after pushing back their start a week to resolve administrative issues. We’ll dive briefly into the Uruguayan story before taking a look at the beginning of the season in Ecuador in this week’s soccer news from across South America.
Clubs forced AUF to delay start of Apertura campaign in Uruguay
Uruguay’s Primera season was set to begin on Feb. 9 and 10 with the first matchday of the Apertura campaign. But a motion brought forth by Fenix on Jan. 31 demanded a delay of the campaign by one week to finish administrative housekeeping in the national federation. Eight other Primera clubs co-signed the motion, forcing the hand of the Asociacion Uruguayo de Futbol.
At the heart of the demand was the need to lock down the calendar for electing a new president of the national federation as well as other officers. The nine clubs that moved to postpone the season were operating under the premise that the new season is not to start until the calendar is completely determined.
Presidential elections are now set for March 15, and the season will begin on Feb. 16 and 17 with a full set of matches. The slight delay will not detract from what should be a fascinating season as Penarol aim to win a third straight title.
A new season begins in Ecuador with an early leader
Jordy Caicedo scored two goals within the first quarter-hour after the intermission, but his brace proved the only scoring for El Nacional as they lost at Barcelona SC 5-2 on Sunday afternoon. The victory by the hosts put them at the top of the Ecuadorian Serie A table, ahead by one goal over Emelec and Delfin on goal differential.
The victory came four days after a midweek Copa Libertadores clash with Defensor Sporting in the first leg of their second qualifying stage matchup. Barcelona engineered a come-from-behind victory in Uruguay on Wednesday thanks to second-half goals from Ely Esterilla and Xavier Arreaga.
Emelec and Delfin both pulled off 2-0 victories, putting them just one goal behind Barcelona. It was the type of performance worthy of the top spot for at least one week. LDU Quito, Universidad Catolica, and Deportivo Cuenca also won their first matches of the new campaign.
Macara and Guayaquil City were the only two clubs to play to a draw this weekend, with Mushuc Runa and America de Quito set to play their first match of the new season on Monday.